When Dan Gillerman was in the fifth grade, a reporter for the school newspaper asked him what he wanted to be when he grew up.
"I want to be Israel's ambassador to the United States," Gillerman recalls replying.
Last month, Gillerman, 58, who was born in Tel Aviv and still has a home there, became Israel's ambassador to the United Nations.
Misdirected Road Map
The ink wasn’t even dry on the draft U.S. “road map” for creation of a Palestinian state before Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and his Palestinian adversaries were deriding President Bush’s proposal.
Assistant Secretary of State William Burns completed his swing through the region this week to explain the plan, and there were few hints of optimism in Washington as officials monitored the flurry of negative stories that followed Burns from capital to capital.
Israel’s new ambassador in Washington says he is an optimistic man, and by one measure Danny Ayalon is indisputably right.
Many of his Israeli government colleagues bristle with warnings to the Palestinians or grim assessments of the state of what used to be called the “peace process.” Ayalon, a professional diplomat who also has served as political adviser to Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, looks for opportunities to make the point that peace with the Palestinians is possible.
And not necessarily in the distant future.
Bush, Sharon Don’t Press Differences
By all accounts Tuesday’s White House meeting between Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and President George W. Bush went well — in large measure because the two leaders did not press their differences, including a big gap over Yasir Arafat’s role as an ongoing peace “partner” and the administration’s determination to press ahead with Palestinian statehood.